Responding to unhappy customers on social media requires businesses to have a plan for what happens if the interaction escalates, a knowledge of what type of unhappy customer they're dealing with and a sense of perspective on the reach of a message, says Zocalo Group founder Paul Rand in an interview. "Monitoring your online chatter and being aware of your position in the marketplace is always going to be your best line of defense, and offense," Rand says.

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